After having ran quite a few trail races around Argentina and recovering from an injury I decided I had to plan an activity which would let me get up every day knowing I had a challenge ahead which I could achieve in as many hours as it took me.
I was in a stage of my life where I didn´t want to rush any more. Instead of running a race I wanted to be able to take the time to stop and admire and get fully filled with nature without rushing to the end.
This is how I started trekking. My first choice was one of the most popular places to go trekking in the world and I had it in Argentina, a small town called El Chaltén.
I had heard so many stories of that place from my training group, where everybody is always looking for a new adventure. But what called my attention was that the words people kept repeating were, it´s a place impossible to describe, you need to experience it.
So that year I spent a lot of time doing some research and finally had everything ready for my first real trekking.
In order to get to the Chalten you need to fly to Calafate, a small town in Patagonia and take a van for about a three hours trip. The views from the road already anticipate what you are going to see. The vast land, the loneliness of that area, the high peaks which surround the area and the unforgettable eagles…a bird which is an icon in our Patagonia.
Ahead of us the Master of the area, the magnificent peak of the Fitz Roy. One of the favourite walls for very experienced climbers who come from all over the world to make their own experience.
Arriving at El Chalten was the equivalent of getting inside a story book. We got there with my husband at noon. The language I could hear most was English. The streets were almost empty and you could only see a few people walking around in trekking shoes, trousers and carrying poles. There were very few cars around too. We didn´t know what to expect but definitely not this empty town…
What we learned a few hours later, after setting up at the hotel and getting ready for our first trek, short and easy as we didn´t have enough time and light ahead, was that everybody in the town leaves very early in the morning to be back at around 4 o´clock for a hot cup of coffee, to share their experiences and plan their next adventure.
It was true, this place had its own magic. Many people from around the world of all ages travelling alone or with a guide, or with friends, with the same worry in mind… what´s the weather going to be like tomorrow. The weather plays a very important part in a trip like this one. This is one of the reasons everyone told me you need to experience the place. Because the same trail can change considerably according to the weather conditions.
That´s another reason why planning with someone who has been there before is so recommendable and makes a difference.
We knew one thing for sure…nothing would stop us now, this place had so much magic.